AN ANGUISHED mum whose two children were taken out of the country by her ex-husband tracked them down to the Middle East – only to be denied bringing them home.
Lacey Plato flew out to Oman and found her children, Aisha Al-Barwani, seven, and Faris, four, living with their dad Usama.
She claims he fled with the children during a visit to Southsea in July while over from Dubai.
Miss Plato, of Outram Way, Southsea, flew out to Oman – where he grew up – with her dad Steve Grant and tracked them down at Mr Al-Barwani’s aunt’s house.
She said she spent 45 minutes with the children before Mr Al-Barwani told her to leave.
Now she has taken her fight to the High Court in London as she aims to bring her children back.
The 29-year-old said: ‘We found the children in his aunt’s house.
‘He let me have them for 45 minutes and then asked me to leave.
‘He agreed I could see them again but said I am not allowed to have them and insisted they have to be raised in an Islamic country.
‘We went to immigration and discovered he reported their passports lost, and he managed to get emergency travel documents from the Oman Embassy in London.
‘I have managed to get lawyers in Oman and the lawyers here are working alongside them.’
She told of the heartbreaking moments she spent with her children before being told to leave.
‘The children believe they are on holiday,’ Mrs Plato added.
‘It was very upsetting for me because it was the first time I had seen them in days.
‘They were surprised to see me and asked what we were doing there.
‘I tried to keep calm and was happy to see them. As we left, I told them I would see them soon.
‘I haven’t spoken to them since.’
Miss Plato fears Mr Al-Barwani has taken them to Dubai, where the family used to live, as he attends work.
She added: ‘He’s completely oblivious to what he’s doing. According to him, the only chance I have is to go and live in the Middle East.
‘I don’t think he has thought through their education or welfare.
‘I try not to talk about them too much because I have never been away from the children this long. It’s a struggle every day.
A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said police are continuing an investigation and remain in regular contact with Mrs Plato, international policing agencies and the Oman authorities.